Architecture essay fiction imagination new possibility pretence


1. The Nature of Imagination

Another purported functional difference between imagination and belief concerns their characteristic connection to emotions. If the liar truly believes that his pants are on fire, then he will be genuinely afraid of the fire; but not if he merely imagines so. While belief evokes genuine emotions toward real entities, imagination does not Walton , , ; see also related discussion of the paradox of fictional emotions in Supplement on Puzzles and Paradoxes of Imagination and the Arts. This debate is entangled with the controversy concerning the nature of emotions see the entry on emotion.

Currently, the consensus is that there exists some important difference between imagining and believing. Yet, there are two distinct departures from this consensus. On the one hand, some philosophers have pointed to novel psychological phenomena in which it is unclear whether imagination or belief is at work—such as delusions Egan a and immersed pretense Schellenberg —and argued that the best explanation for these phenomena says that imagination and belief exists on a continuum. In responding to the argument from immersed pretense, Shen-yi Liao and Tyler Doggett argue that a cognitive architecture that collapses distinctive attitudes on the basis of borderline cases is unlikely to be fruitful in explaining psychological phenomena.

On the other hand, some philosophers have pointed to familiar psychological phenomena and argued that the best explanation for these phenomena says that imagination is ultimately reducible to belief.

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Peter Langland-Hassan , argues that pretense can be explained with only reference to beliefs—specifically, beliefs about counterfactuals. Derek Matravers argues that engagements with fictions can be explained without references to imaginings. To desire is to want something to be the case see the entry on desire. Recall that on the single code hypothesis , there exists a cognitive imaginative attitude that is structurally similar to belief. The debates on the relationship between imagination and desire is, not surprisingly, thoroughly entangled with the debates on the relationship between imagination and belief.

One impetus for positing a conative imaginative attitude comes from behavior motivation in imaginative contexts. Tyler Doggett and Andy Egan argue that cognitive and conative imagination jointly output to action-generation system, in the same way that belief and desire jointly do.

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Another impetus for positing a conative imaginative attitude comes from emotions in imaginative contexts see related discussions of the paradox of fictional emotions and the paradoxes of tragedy and horror in Supplement on Puzzles and Paradoxes of Imagination and the Arts. In addition, another argument against conative imagination is that its different impetuses call for conflicting functional properties. Amy Kind b notes a tension between the argument from behavior motivation and the argument from fictional emotions: conative imagination must be connected to action-generation in order for it to explain pretense behaviors, but it must be disconnected from action-generation in order for it to explain fictional emotions.

Although it is possible to form mental images in any of the sensory modalities, the bulk of discussion in both philosophical and psychological contexts has focused on visual imagery. Broadly, there is agreement on the similarity between mental imagery and perception in phenomenology, which can be explicated as a similarity in content Nanay b; see, for example, Kind ; Nanay ; Noordhof Historically, mental imagery is thought to be an essential component of imaginings.

architecture essay fiction imagination new possibility pretence

Against the historical orthodoxy, the contemporary tendency is to recognize that there is at least one species of imagination—propositional imagination—that does not require mental imagery. Against this orthodoxy, Amy Kind argues that an image-based account can explain three crucial features of imagination—directedness, active nature, and phenomenological character—better than its imageless counterpart.

In turn, Peter Langland-Hassan develops a pluralist position on which there exists a variety of imaginative attitudes, including ones that can take on hybrid contents that are partly propositional and partly sensorily imagistic. For a nuanced overview of this debate, see Gregory — Finally, the relationship between mental imagery and perception has potential implications for the connection between imagination and action.

The orthodoxy on propositional belief-like imagination holds that imagination does not directly output to action-generation system; rather, the connection between the two is mediated by belief and desire. In contrast, the enactivist program in the philosophy of perception holds that perception can directly output to action-generation system see, for example, Nanay Working from the starting point that imagistic imagination is similar to perception in its inclusion of mental imagery, some philosophers have argued for a similar direct connection between imagistic imagination and action-generation system Langland-Hassan ; Nanay a; Van Leeuwen , b.

That is, there exist imagery-oriented actions that are analogous to perception-oriented actions. For example, Neil Van Leeuwen argues that an account of imagination that is imagistically-rich can better explain pretense behaviors than its propositional-imagination-only rivals. For example, a sculptor might use a blend of the visual perception of a stone and the mental imagery of different parts of the stone being subtracted to guide their physical manipulation of the stone.

Architecture essay fiction imagination new possibility pretence

To remember , roughly, is to represent something that is no longer the case. On the standard taxonomy, there are three types of memory.


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See the entry on memory for a detailed discussion of this taxonomy, and especially the criterion of episodicity. In situating imagination in cognitive architecture, philosophers have typically focused on similarities and differences between imagination and episodic declarative memory. There are obvious similarities between imagination and memory: both typically involve imagery, both typically concern what is not presently the case, and both frequently involve perspectival representations.

Thomas Hobbes Leviathan : 2.

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In making this bold statement, Hobbes represents an extreme version of continuism, a view on which imagination and memory refer to the same psychological mechanisms. The orthodoxy on imagination and memory in the history of philosophy, however, is discontinuism, a view on which there are significant differences between imagination and memory, even if there are overlaps in their psychological mechanisms.

Some philosophers find the distinction in internalist factors, such as the phenomenological difference between imagining and remembering. Other philosophers find the distinction in externalist factors, such as the causal connection that exists between memories and the past that is absent with imagination. Aristotle uses the causal connection criterion to distinguish between imagination and memory De Anima a2; a8—12; see De Brigard As such, it is unsurprising that discontinuism remains the orthodoxy.

In recent years, two sets of findings from cognitive science has given philosophers reasons to push back against discontinuism. The first set of findings concern distortions and confabulations. The traditional conception of memory is that it functions as an archive: past experiences are encapsulated and stored in the archive, and remembering is just passively retrieving the encapsulated mental content from the archive Robins Behavioral psychology has found numerous effects that challenge the empirical adequacy of the archival conception of memory.

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Perhaps the most well-known is the misinformation effect, which occurs when a subject incorporates inaccurate information into their memory of an event—even inaccurate information that they received after the event Loftus []. Using fMRI, neuroscientists have found a striking overlap in the brain activities for remembering the past and imagining the future, which suggest that the two psychological processes utilize the same neural network see, for example, Addis et al.

These two set of findings have given rise to an alternative conception that sees memory as essentially constructive, in which remembering is actively generating mental content that more or less represent the past. The constructive conception of memory is in a better position to explain why memories can contain distortions and confabulations but see Robins for complications , and why remembering makes use of the same neural networks as imagining.

Kourken Michaelian explicitly rejects the causal connection criterion and defends a theory on which remembering, like imagining, centrally involves simulation. Felipe De Brigard characterizes remembering as a special instance of hypothetical thinking. Robert Hopkins characterizes remembering as a kind of imagining that is controlled by the past. However, the philosophical interpretation of empirical research remain contested; in dissent, Dorothea Debus , considers the same sets of findings but ultimately concludes that remembering and imagining remain distinct mental kinds.

To suppose is to form a hypothetical mental representation. There exists a highly contentious debate on whether supposition is continuous with imagination, which is also a hypothetical attitude, or whether there are enough differences to make them discontinuous. There are two main options for distinguishing imagination and supposition, by phenomenology and by function.

The phenomenological distinction standardly turns on the notion of vivacity: whereas imaginings are vivid, suppositions are not.

Although vivacity has been frequently invoked in discussions of imagination, Amy Kind draws on empirical and theoretical considerations to argue that it is ultimately philosophically untenable. If that is correct, then the attempt to demarcate imagination and supposition by their vivacity is untenable too. Table 1. There have been diverse functional distinctions attributed to the discontinuity between imagination and supposition, but none has gained universal acceptance.

Richard Moran contends that imagination tends to give rise to a wide range of further mental states, including affective responses, whereas supposition does not see also Arcangeli , Gregory Currie and Ian Ravenscroft contend that supposition involves only cognitive imagination, but imagination involves both cognitive and conative imagination.


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Tyler Doggett and Andy Egan contend that imagination tends to motivate pretense actions, but supposition tends not to. There remain ongoing debates about specific alleged functional distinctions, and about whether the functional distinctions are numerous or fundamental enough to warrant discontinuism or not.

Indeed, it remains contentious which philosophers count as continuists and which philosophers count as discontinuists for a few sample taxonomies, see Arcangeli ; Balcerak Jackson ; Kind Much of the contemporary discussion of imagination has centered around particular roles that imagination is purported to play in various domains of human understanding and activity. Amongst the most widely-discussed are the role of imagination in understanding other minds section 3. The variety of roles ascribed to imagination, in turn, provides a guide for discussions on the nature of imagination section 1 and its place in cognitive architecture section 2.

Mindreading is the activity of attributing mental states to oneself and to others, and of predicting and explaining behavior on the basis of those attributions. Many such hybrid accounts include a role for imagination. On pure versions of such accounts, imagination plays no special role in the attribution of mental states to others. For an overview of theory theory, see entry on folk psychology as a theory.

For early papers, see Goldman ; Gordon ; Heal ; for recent dissent, see, for example, Carruthers ; Gallagher ; Saxe , ; for an overview of simulation theory, see entry on folk psychology as mental simulation. How this metaphor is understood depends on the specific account. Though classic simulationist accounts have tended to assume that the simulation process is at least in-principle accessible to consciousness, a number of recent simulation-style accounts appeal to neuroscientific evidence suggesting that at least some simulative processes take place completely unconsciously.

On such accounts of mindreading, no special role is played by conscious imagination see Goldman ; Saxe Alvin Goldman , for example, argues that while mindreading is primarily the product of simulation, theorizing plays a role in certain cases as well. Partly in light of these considerations, the relative lack of spontaneous pretense in children with autistic spectrum disorders is taken as evidence for a link between the skills of pretense and empathy.

Pretending is an activity that occurs during diverse circumstances, such as when children make-believe, when criminals deceive, and when thespians act Langland-Hassan Consequently, they also disagree about the mental states that enable one to pretend. Different behaviorist theories explicate behaving-as-if in different ways, but all aim to provide an account of pretense without recourse to the innate mental-state concept pretend. Philosophical and psychological theories have sought to explain both the performance of pretense and the recognition of pretense, especially concerning evidence from developmental psychology see Lillard for an early overview.

On the recognition side, children on a standard developmental trajectory distinguish pretense and reality via instinctual behavioral cues around 15—18 months; and start to do so via conventional behavioral cues from 36 months on Friedman et al. Not surprisingly, the debate between theories of pretense often rest on interpretations of such empirical evidence. Specifically, they argue that behavioral theories do not offer straightforward explanations of this early development of pretense recognition, and incorrectly predicts that children systematically mistake other acts of behaving-as-if—such as those that stem from false beliefs—for pretense activities.

In response, Stephen Stich and Joshua Tarzia has acknowledged these problems for earlier behaviorist theories, and developed a new behaviorist theory that purportedly explains the totality of empirical evidence better than metarepresentational rivals. The debate concerning theories of pretense has implications for the role of imagination in pretense. Behaviorist theories tend to take imagination as essential to explaining pretense performance; metarepresentational theories do not.

architecture essay fiction imagination new possibility pretence Architecture essay fiction imagination new possibility pretence
architecture essay fiction imagination new possibility pretence Architecture essay fiction imagination new possibility pretence
architecture essay fiction imagination new possibility pretence Architecture essay fiction imagination new possibility pretence
architecture essay fiction imagination new possibility pretence Architecture essay fiction imagination new possibility pretence
architecture essay fiction imagination new possibility pretence Architecture essay fiction imagination new possibility pretence
architecture essay fiction imagination new possibility pretence Architecture essay fiction imagination new possibility pretence

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